Instant ramen is wonderful, period. It’s cheap, it’s fast, and it makes you feel like you’re dining at a red-awning ramen stand on a cold winter night, even if you’re just slurping it at home in your pajamas. If you happen to find yourself in Osaka, you can pay tribute to instant noodles at the Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum. A labor of love to Momofuku Ando, the inventor of instant ramen and founder of Nissin Foods, this delightful museum traces the development of the soul-warming snack from the very first package all the way to the noodles eaten aboard the Discovery space shuttle. There’s loads of quirky exhibits, from a noodle-bowl shaped theatre playing a sweet animation about Ando’s noodle-making career to a trippy “Instant Noodles Tunnel” displaying the history of instant noodles (they even have a package of Ando’s very first product: “Chikin Ramen”, which was known as “magic noodles”). The treat for the ultimate noodle afficionado, however, is the “Chicken Ramen Factory”, where you get to make your very own package of instant noodles from scratch, from rolling and cutting the dough to picking the spices to even decorating the package. Those of us less adept in the cooking department can pop by the chill “My Cup Noodles Factory”, which allows you to customize your very own Cup Noodles to take home. And you can make as many as you want, so, you know, better stock up.
Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum
8-25 Masumi-cho, Ikeda-shi, Osaka
Open every day 9:30 to 16:00;
Closed on Tuesdays